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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Jewish and Rabbinic Perspectives on Psychiatric Ethics compares and contrasts the medical-ethical principles of rabbinic Judaism with those of clinical psychiatry. On many general ethical principles-in particular, those of benevolence, nonmalfeasance and justice-there is a good deal of concordance between Jewish and medical-psychiatric ethics. However, these two ethical systems sometimes diverge in their approach to the patient's "autonomy." This may have important consequences in matters such as involuntary medical treatment; the patient's sexual orientation; and decisions regarding circumcision, suicide, euthanasia, and terminal illness. This chapter summarizes ways the clinician working with observant Jewish patients may resolve some of these potential conflicts and preserve the therapeutic alliance.

Keywords: Judaism, rabbinic ethics, autonomy, psychiatry, involuntary treatment

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